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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Japanese Language

Languages Other Than English (Japanese): Boy has had a yen to begin languages so today we tackled Japanese (Nihongo).

A language and culture not unforeign to us, today we began our unit on Japanese language and culture (we’re not going to do hiragana, katakana, or kanji for writing – it’s asking for trouble to get Boy to write more than he already has to!). I used to learn Japanese and we’ve had several Japanese homestay students over the years so at least I have some basics in pronunciation. I’ve also visited Japan and could tell Boy some stories about my confusion over money and food.

Boy can already count to ten in Japanese (thanks to Kendo) but he struggles to remember the greetings. With the help of Say it in Japanese from Kids web Japan, I made some charts for the wall (pictured) for all of us to use phrases and words that Boy would have heard over the years.

How do you do? Hajimenashite (sounds like hud gee may mush te)

Yes: Hai (sounds like hi)

No: Iie (sounds like a stuttering e e ea)

Good morning: Ohayougozaimasu (sounds like Ohio gaz eye mas)

Good afternoon: Konnichiwa (sounds like con ichy wa)

Good evening: Konbanwa (sounds like con bun wa)

Good night: Oyasuminasai (sounds like oi a sue me nus i)

Together, Boy and I made some flash cards using recycled cardboard and we intend to test everyone in the house by flashing the Japanese word at them and asking them what it means in English and how do you say it in Japanese.

SOSE: For social understanding to be successful, learning another language also requires an understanding of that country’s culture. Off we went to the Sushi shop and consumed sushi: without wasabi (neither of us like it). We asked for the Japanese words of some common foods (e.g. prawn – ebi) and listened to the rhythm of the talk of the Japanese (Nihonji) young people in the restaurant.

Health and Physical Education: While drinking Green Tea we had a yarn about the importance of digestion for overall health.

Apart from the delicious food, we had a great time. Cost me far too much but how can I place a price on the value of educating my Boy? I do not mind the cost because the learning was invaluable.

To round the home school lesson off, we stopped in at an Asian grocery store and lurked in the Japanese section. Both Boy and I like onigiri, so we purchased some nori and we’ll make some seaweed covered rice balls one evening this week. In need of a steamer, we also purchased a bamboo steamer so Boy can have steamed, rather than deep fried, Dim Sims (Chinese). He considers Dim Sims and Spring Rolls as foods that should be included in the eat most section of the food pyramid. We have a long way to go but we are getting there!

What a great home education day we have had.


Alasandra said...

We used Power Glide to learn Japanese a few years ago. I enjoyed your post, I really hope I have a chance to visit Japan one day, my Hubby just got back from a trip to Japan and the pictures he took were awesome, and we are enjoying his reports on the culture (which we are getting in bits and pieces).

Megan Bayliss said...

Konnichiwa Alasandra Sun

Thanks for dropping in. More importantly, I really hope you get the opportunity to visit Japan. It is a fascinating country ofd extremes.

Boy wants to go for a visit this year but step father and I are getting married in 23 days time so every cent is going into wedding expenses.

Boy will just have to keep practicing Japanese and eating the food.

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